Feb 8, 2018

Report: House Intel Republicans want a wall to keep staff from Democrats

Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

House Intelligence Republicans are planning to build a physical partition separating their committee staff members from their Democratic counterparts this spring, reports CBS News.

Why it matters: The concept of a wall dividing staffers along partisan lines reflects the current state of bipartisan relations on the committee, which have devolved into "absolute poison," according to Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), amid tension over alleged leaks and the release of the Nunes FISA memo. The tension has spilled over into the committee's work as it has not interviewed a witness in the Russia probe since Corey Lewandowski and Steve Bannon cut their appearances short last month.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, responded to Thursday's rumors:

"We have heard reports that the Chairman may seek to erect a 'wall' to divide the staff of the intelligence committee on a partisan basis — this would be a terrible mistake. While we have more than our share of difficulties, the important oversight work of the committee continues with our staff working together irrespective of party. This would be a very destructive decision."

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Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.

Situational awareness

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison
  2. Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout
  3. Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in $13 billion deal
  4. Coronavirus slams companies' 2020 sales projections
  5. Black activist group gives its first presidential endorsement to Elizabeth Warren

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health